Toilet Training

Toilet Training

Talk about wet, dry or messy nappies as you change them. Ask the child, "Do you have a wet/dirty nappy?" (Using the terms you decide on) Encourage the child to sit on the potty. It does not matter if the child wants to sit on it with clothes on or off; the idea is for them to become comfortable doing this.

Children should being toilet training no sooner than 18 months. Forcing your child to train before he/she is ready can result in bed wetting, frequent accidents, constipation or regression, in times of stress. I believe that most children are ready to begin toilet training around 2 years of age. Of course, all children are different. While some may be ready at 18 months, others are not ready until 2 half. Some readiness signs to look for are:

Emotional readiness skills

Must be able to follow simple directions.

Is excited about getting bigger and wants to do things like big kids.

Shows an interest in using the toilet/potty.

Finally, the child must simply be emotionally ready to use the toilet/potty. He/she has to decide that this is something they want to do. Most power struggles result from an adult trying to force a child who is not emotionally ready to use a toilet/potty.

Start teaching the child at home, during a weekend or holiday. I will follow through and encourage your child whilst in my care. Toilet training will be done in a relaxed manner with the co-operation of the family. Keep in mind that the activity level in my home can distract your child from responding to an urge to use the potty, probably more so than at your home. Parents need to supply training pants or pull-ups, plus a couple of extra changes of clothing each day (including socks). If the child is still wetting at nap-time please supply nappies for them to sleep in during rest period.

Occasionally children do have accidents. If and when this happens the child will be treated with the greatest respect, there will be no form of punishment what so ever, this includes name calling or anything else that is likely to distress the child as the child is usually embarrassed enough and any form of distress can hinder their progress and thus lead to further accidents.

If your child does have an accident then they will be taken to one side, cleaned up and changed discretely, offered lots of cuddles and then will go back to continue what ever activities they were participating in before the accident. The soiled clothes will be sent home with the parents on collection (don't forget to replace the spare clothes).

Physical readiness skills (must have these to be ready to learn)

Ability to stay dry for about 2 hours.

Has some basic dressing skills.

Has the basic co-ordination to get on and off the potty or toilet

Language skills, the ability to say "Potty" or some other term which indicates that your child needs use the toilet.

Shows an awareness of the difference between wet and dry.

Indicates an awareness of having a wet or soiled nappy.

Most children will have achieved bowel and urine control by age 3 - 4 years. Any significant changes in their bathroom habits or continued accidents may warrant a call to the doctor to rule out other problems or for advice!

Your child's readiness is something we can discuss, because consistency between our homes will be very important. This is a special time for your child, a sign that he/she is growing up. Toilet training should be a good experience. Punishments for accidents are inappropriate.

Preparing my child for toilet training

It is not a good idea to dress the child in overalls or trousers with difficult fasteners or that are too tight to pull down, this can be frustrating for the child when needing to remove them in a hurry. The best items are shorts and pants with elastic waists, or dresses.

Before toilet training your child, place a potty in your child's normal living and play area so that your child will become familiar with the potty. Consider placing a potty on each floor of the house if you live in a multilevel home. Allow your child to observe, touch and become familiar with the potty.

Tell your child that the potty is his or her own chair. Allow your child to sit fully clothed on the potty, as if it were a regular chair. Allow your child to leave the potty at any time. Do not force your child to spend time sitting on the potty.

After your child has become used to the potty and sits on it regularly with his or her clothes on, try having your child sit on the potty without wearing pants or a nappy. Let your child become comfortable with sitting on the potty without wearing pants and a nappy.

Your child's facial expression may change when he or she feels the need to urinate or to have a bowel movement. Your child may stop any activity he or she is engaged in when he or she feels the need to go to the bathroom.

Most children have a bowel movement once a day, usually within an hour after eating. Most children urinate within an hour after having a large drink.

In addition to watching for signals that your child needs to urinate or have a bowel movement, place your child on the potty at regular intervals. This may be as often as every half to 1 hour.

Stay with your child when he or she is on the potty. Reading or talking to your child when he or she is sitting on the potty may help your child relax. Praise your child when he or she produces something in the potty, but do not express disappointment if your child does not urinate or have a bowel movement in the potty. Be patient with your child.

Once your child has learned to use the potty, your child can begin using an over-the-toilet seat and a step-up stool.

Staying dry at night

Most children still wet at night even after they learn to use a toilet during the day. Even at age three and beyond some children still have accidents.

Try not to pressure your child. Remind him/her gently to use the toilet.

Sometimes an illness or a change in the family, like a new baby, will cause a child who was toilet trained to start wetting again. Try to be patient and praise your child for success. Use a rubber sheet on the bed to make clean-up easier.

If bedwetting is still a problem with older children, check with your doctor to see if there is a medical reason. Don't make the child feel guilty; he is already embarrassed and doesn't want to continue wetting. Scolding will make the child nervous and upset, and then it will be even harder for him/her to stay dry.

Many kids will try not to drink too late in the day to sop the bedwetting. This can make things worse. The urine becomes more concentrated, the bladder gets irritated and the child can be prompted to go to the toilet even more. Talk openly with the child about bedwetting - try telling them 'you can't help it, so don't worry about'.

The GP. will probably supply an alarm to link up to their bed - this will sound an alarm as soon as they start to wee. This will wake the child to remind them to go to the toilet, but sometime the child will sleep through it if they are heavy sleepers.

New research has shown that many bedwetters don't make enough of a certain night-time hormone that sops their kidneys making so much urine. A new drug which is widely available, has been made that simulates this hormone with great success. When taking this drug it is advised that it should be stopped every three months or so to see if the child has become naturally dry at night.

All about bed wetting

Across the UK, 500,000 children under 16 wet the bed more than three times a week. Over 80% of parents wrongly believe that stress and worry are the major causes of bedwetting. Nearly a third think the child is too lazy to get out of bed. If your child is 4 or over and wets the bed more than three times a week, you should think about getting advice from you GP.